Thursday, May 19

Jonas Eidevall reveals bizarre black cat superstition ahead of Women’s FA Cup final

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall has revealed ahead of the Women’s FA Cup final against Chelsea on Sunday a bizarre superstition – that he never crosses paths with a black cat.

Eidevall joked that now he has outed himself as someone who has been known in the past to drive a ‘couple of miles’ out of his way to avoid a black cat, Chelsea counterpart Emma Hayes will probably send an army of cats to block Arsenal’s way.

“I do have some superstitions,” the Gunners boss said ahead of the Wembley final. “I think it is healthy to have because then you feel like you have some control over the uncontrollable.

“I don’t like letting black cats cross my way…ever,” he then explained.

“I don’t harm any black cats either, that’s also important to say, but I have been sometimes driving around and rerouting for a couple of miles just to [avoid] crossing their path. That’s the only thing I have. You feel a little bit silly when you’re doing it, but it’s the one thing that I can control being superstitious with.

“If Emma Hayes sees us arrive, she will probably buy a thousand cats with all the money they have at Chelsea and try to send them all over our road. It’s probably a really bad give-away from me, being invaded by black cats.”

As far as the actual game is concerned, for which more than 45,000 tickets have been sold, Eidevall expects to feel extremely confident when Sunday comes, but insisted he will remain nervous and will overprepare until that moment.

“On game day, I feel very, very confident,” Eidevall remarked. “Before game day, I think about everything that can possibly go wrong because I need to prepare for that.

“One week before the game, I’m definite that we are going to lose and I panic and re-watch all the videos and then we start work. But then when we reach game day, I am 100% sure that we will win. I know I will reach that point this time also.”

Eidevall has reason to be confident. His team are top of the WSL table ahead of Chelsea and beat the reigning champions on the opening weekend of the season with only minimal time to prepare on that occasion. Looking back, he praised the attitude of the players to secure the 3-2 win.

Arsenal beat Chelsea in the WSL earlier this seasonArsenal beat Chelsea in the WSL earlier this season

Arsenal beat Chelsea in the WSL earlier this season / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

“I think there were a lot of things going into that game because we had a very short time together. I had a very short time in England before that game,” the Swede explained.

“After the Champions League qualifiers, I had to travel back [to Sweden] and sort out the visas for my family. I couldn’t be onsite when we played the qualifiers against Slavia Prague. I think I only came back and took part in the last two training sessions before that Chelsea game, which would basically be the first two training sessions where we had the whole squad.

“It was a lot of work in a short time, getting into that game. Of course, it felt like we were out of control in some aspects. But you could see the massive heart all of the players had on the field, how much they were fighting and trying to get all the details right.

“We’ll see how the game turns out on Sunday, but I am confident that we will see the same amount of heart from Arsenal players and staff.”

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